You've gone and done it. Here you are, the proud new owner of a wool cover and fitted diaper to try out, after having been inspired by my last blog. You've gotten to this place by either desperation, curiosity, extreme hippy tendencies, or a combination of all three. (Don't worry hippies, I am right there with you.) The problem you now face is what the hell is lanolizing and why won't you speak English already?
I know the cloth diapering routine by heart. Take the stuffing out of the pocket, put the tabs down, place in your dry bag and wash at least every two days. Done. I'll just do the same with my fitted and my wool cover. I've got the special soap already. I know if my water is hard or soft. Enough already and let's get this baby sleeping through the night!
STOP! DROP! ROLL!
No wait, it's stop, look, and listen? That's not it either. Stop in the name of love? Okay, it's not funny, I give up....Just stop wherever you are, and slowly pull out the wool cover from the dry bag. I won't tell a soul.
Wool needs to be washed separately from all of your other dirty diapers. You can place your fitted in the dry bag, but the wool cover needs to stay separate. If you have reached this blog because you have tried out your wool cover and it leaked all over, don't worry. I can help you.
Okay, enough babbling, tell me what to do already.
Pre-steps for washing/lanolizing wool
1. Buy more soap. (I know, I know. You have to buy more stuff. Or, you could find a sheep, sheer it and harvest the lanolin from it's wool.) You will need pure lanolin to lanolize with. (Fun fact, laine is wool in French. Do you see the link? Eh? Eh? )Wool wash will not do. It's nice, and will help with the lanolizing process, but you will need the gooey yellow stuff to get your wool waterproof. Baby shampoo will also work fine with the lanolin, so don't feel like you have to buy a wool wash as well.
2. Make sure that you follow the instructions that came with whatever wool cover you have. I have three different kinds, but the manufacturers instructions are all about the same, so I just follow the ones from sustainablebabyish. I have their wool longies. I don't own every wool cover ever made, so I can't say definitively that you should just ignore their instructions and follow mine, despite how highly I think of my own experiences.
3. Be prepared to wait one to two days for your cover to dry. My sustainablebabyish wool longies take FOREVER to dry. Do I love them? Yes. Do I want all of the products that they sell because the wool feels like butter? Yes. Does it test my patience sometimes? Do bears piss in the forest? You get my drift. (Sorry if I'm being crass. I'm not your typical STAM. So much so, I don't even know if that means stay at home mom or something completely different.)
Steps to lanolizing wool
1. Get your stinky or new wool cover. It's go time.
2. Measure out about 1 cup of water and put it in the microwave for 1 minute so it gets really really hot. Then melt in one tablespoon of pure lanolin (not wool wash) and squirt in a little baby shampoo (this is where you use your wool wash) and stir until the water becomes nice and cloudy. You don't want chunks of lanolin.
3. Then fill up your kitchen sink, bathroom sink, bucket, cauldron, or whatever with warm water.
4. Add the lanolin water mixture and stir.
5. Put your wool cover(s) into the water and gently rub the wool, trying to get the water fully integrated into the cover. You want to get all that nasty yellow goo into the wool. This is what makes it repellent.
6. Let it sit for at least 15-20 min. I usually let mine soak for about 1-1.5 hours.
7. Gently squeeze out the excess water. Dont' wring it too tight.
8. Get a towel out and roll the cover up into the towel. Unroll and do it again on the dry side.
9. Lay the wool cover on a dry towel and wait.
10. You probably won't have to do this for another couple weeks. If your cover is new, you should probably lanolize it several times before use. Unfortunately, it needs to get more lanolin and coarse to become more water repellent. Afterwards, you should be able to go to up to a month before lanolizing again. If the cover gets soiled, you'll need to wash it with wool wash and then lanolize it again.
Good night and good luck.
Up tomorrow, the fitteds that I stash and which one(s) do I prefer.